Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Comments on the contest

My review of this year’s 2nd place winner, Adam McDaniel’s HEAVEN SPENT, has been a long time coming. There were two reasons.

The first wasn't my fault. I had my computer crash on Friday, and I lost everything just as I was polishing my writeup. My second attempt yesterday morning was lost a third of the way through when I accidentally saved something else under the same document that I'll take a wee bit of blame for.

It’s not that I find writing reviews to be troublesome, but doing coverage on McDaniel’s script has left me a bit exhausted. I can’t review it properly without making comparisons to this year’s other winners, Angela Schultz’s HELL FOR LOVERS and Ian Goh’s BORN IN THE RAIN…as well as comparing it to HOW TO SUCEED IN HEAVEN WITHOUT REALLY DYING, the “novelization” McDaniel made of his HEAVEN SPENT script.

OK, so there's a script review, a book review, and comparisons to two other scripts. This is a pretty outlandish situation I’m in. And it'll be round three, to
boot. All this writing’s giving my fingertips scars. (I beg your patience, Adam. My review will be coming up shortly. Promise!)

I've received some emails questioning my selections for the contest, with messages like, "Were all the scripts that bad?", "Don't you like anything?", "Why are you so tough?", and "How f*cking arrogant and evil are you?"

My answers are: Of course not! / Sure I like things -- just not everything. / I'm getting more selective. / A little arrogant, but isn't calling me "evil" pushing it?

One question that might deserve a more detailed answer is why I chose BORN IN THE RAIN as my #1 pick, after going on and on in my review about its flaws and my frustrations with it. Though I don't think it's sporting to have to justify my feelings, I'll try to shed a little light on them.

First place was a close close that had it not been for the limited gift prizes, I might have called it a tie. McDaniel’s script, to be frank, clearly was the more polished and tightly written of the two. (Again, I'll post the review soon.) And whereas Ian Goh’s story sort of meanders at a leisurely pace, McDaniel’s moves constantly forward, has the stronger structure, dramatic buildup, and a much (MUCH) better ending.

But I guess I just couldn’t escape the feelings deep, deep down in my gut – or under my skin? I’m not sure just where they were... but I do know that Ian Goh’s story haunted me like no other. It is obviously created
with so much love and care, such deep feeling, longing and soulfulness, you can't help but embrace it in a big, tight hug. Heck, after reading it you might even feel like taking the screenwriter out for a beer.

And for that, BORN IN THE RAIN remained my choice for the best script of 2007.

Since I'm on the subject on contests, I'm trying to come up with a similar venue for book manuscripts and POD titles. This blog isn't all about least I'm not intending it to be.

If any of you have any ideas, suggestions, comments, etc., that you feel would improve this site (or make it more interesting), go ahead and fire me an email.

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